Body Pressures

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Body Pressures

Common  body pressure measurements include blood pressure  (80/120-mm (300 mm Hg, max)), respiratory pressure (4 kPa) and intraocular pressure for glaucoma testing (15 mm Hg). However, there are several other pressure measurements made at different body locations, most are made for diagnostic purposes. These include:

  • intra-bladder pressure (IBP) 12.3 ± 4.5 mmHg depending on body position to about 22 mmHg.
  • intragastric pressure, (IGP) 15.5 ± 3.5 mmHg vs 18.0 ± 8.7 mmHg
  • intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) typically less than 12 mmHg
  • anorectal manometry (ARM) 49 ± 3 mmHg resting to 238 ± 38 mmHg maximum squeeze range
  • vacuum (negative pressure) for an electric breast pump 0-270 mmHg

Similar to blood pressure and intraocular pressure, higher than normal readings identify potentially dangerous health situations. For example, an IAP equal to or above 12 mmHg is called Intra-abdominal Hypertension (IAH). Also, an IAP above 20 mmHg with evidence of organ dysfunction/failure defines abdominal compartment syndrome (ACS). Both of these higher than normal readings are known to cause significant morbidity and mortality among critically ill patients.

For healthy subjects, anal pressure is highly reproducible on separate days. ARM measurements in resting mode vary from 49 ± 3 to 58 ± 3 mmHg in women and from 49 ± 3 to 66 ± 6 mmHg in men. In contrast, maximum pressures range from 90 ± 9 to 159 ± 45 mm Hg in women and from 218 ± 18 to 238 ± 38 in men.

Oral to anal pressures vary depending on the location of the muscle cross sectional area (MCSA).

Oral to anal pressures vary depending on the location of the muscle cross sectional area (MCSA).
Source:  Physiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract .

Depending on the location, a significantly lower pressure can be a problem, too. For most people, blood pressure in the foot is similar to the blood pressure in the arm. A pressure drop of as little as 10% can indicate peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Not all pressures are positive measurements or made for diagnostic purposes. For example, an electric breast pump uses a vacuum (negative pressure) as high as 270 mmHg to collect milk for newborns.

For all of these body pressure measurements, highly accurate microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensors can provide an essential tool for optimum healthcare.

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Fracking and Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Fracking and Pressure

In hydraulic fracturing or fracking, after a vertical shaft is dug from 1 to 2 miles deep in the earth to locate natural gas or oil, horizontal drilling occurs that can extend up to a mile from the vertical shaft. With the fracking well encased in steel and/or cement to prevent leakage into ground water, a fracking fluid is pumped down the well at pressures that can exceed 9,000 pounds per square inch (psi) or 62,050 kilopascals (kPA). This pressure can fracture the surrounding rock and create fissures and cracks for oil and gas flow. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), about 13,000 new wells are drilled every year.

The Fracking Process

The fracking process: pressures ≤ 90,000 psi. Figure courtesy of Friends of the Earth.

 

With concerns over the consequences of fracking, many people’s blood pressure increases when the topic of fracking is discussed. Unlike, fracking pressures themselves, this pressure measurement is perfect for microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) pressure sensors.

Blood Pressure

The results of fracking discussions: higher blood pressures ≥ 120-mm Hg. Figure courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Peer Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

Peer Pressure

Peer pressure usually has a negative connotation but the right kind of peer pressure can provide positive results. Recently, studying the impact of peer pressure on reducing blood pressure has provided encouraging results for patients with hypertension (high blood pressure). According to the Heart Organization, normal blood pressure is less than 120 mmHg (systolic or the upper number) and 80 mmHg (diastolic or the lower number). Elevated blood pressures have different classifications as shown in the table.

American Heart Association Blood Pressure Categories

Source: American Heart Association.

One study reported the effect of peer pressure through a peer supportive program. In this study, one group of hypertension patients was provided 6 one-hour sessions of the peer support and training sessions and a control group was not. With pressure measurements conducted at various points, the researchers concluded that the peer supportive program was effective in promoting systolic and diastolic blood pressure scores in patients with hypertension.

In a second, on-going study, a peer support group was formed in an existing social network in a low-income community that had a practice of sharing resources and the group was provided a digital blood pressure monitor. The intent of the study is to encourage the sharing of knowledge on hypertension, disease progress and practice of self-blood pressure monitoring among the participants whose income would prevent them from purchasing their own blood pressure monitor. This recently initiated study has not reported results yet but should prove interesting.

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The Value of Pressure

Welcome to All Sensors “Put the Pressure on Us” blog. This blog brings out pressure sensor aspects in a variety of applications inspired by headlines, consumer and industry requirements, market research, government activities, and you.

The Value of Pressure

Pressure makes diamonds” ― George S. Patton Jr.

While Patton was referring to the stress that can transition those who survive it into better individuals, carbon subjected to intense pressure and heat for millions of years turns into diamonds. In fact, the right combination of heat, pressure and time can crystallize many other minerals.

For natural diamonds, the pressure results from their formation at depths of 140 to 190 kilometers (87 to 118 mi) in the Earth’s mantle – below the Earth’s crust.

The Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond

When Tracy Hall achieved the first commercially successful synthesis of diamond in 1954, a more specific pressure value was identified. Hall used a “belt” press, which was capable of producing pressures above 10 GPa (1,500,000 psi) and temperatures above 2,000 °C (3,630 °F).

Pressure is essential in creating diamonds and other precious gems, but its greatest value is in healthcare. Without your health, everything else means nothing. Blood pressure, respiratory flow, interocular pressure and other pressure measurements indicate good health or a health problem. Cost-effective microelectromechanical (MEMS) pressure sensors provide value by confirming good health or helping diagnose problems to correct them and restore good health.

Comments/Questions?
Do you have a pressure sensing question? Let us know and we’ll address it in an upcoming blog.
Email us at info@allsensors.com